During our bi-weekly division meetings, one team member is chosen to ask a question to the team at the next meeting (hot potato style). A few weeks ago, it was my turn. I struggled to come up with a question—what would engage them in conversation yet also benefit me? After lots of thinking and some help from Josh I gave them the question: What are one or two things that you wish you would have known starting your first professional job or career? Some of their responses are things that we hear all the time while others were not so common. Here’s the advice I received:
- Take opportunities to learn. Go to training sessions, sit in on meetings, etc.
- Maintain contacts, even if you don’t think you’ll need them. You never know when you will change careers or have a special project that could utilize those contacts.
- Find mentors.
- Try new things and get out of your comfort zone.
- Be open.
- Your degree doesn’t always matter. You’re not stuck with what you took classes for in college.
- Say “yes” to new things to build your skills set.
- Look for fulfillment outside of work.
- Learn to say “no” and how to quit if you are not satisfied in your position.
- Learn others work styles.
- Don’t guess what others are thinking. If you don’t know, ask.
Sometimes we may feel overwhelmed at the thought of starting our careers but it’s important to remember that everyone has been there. With our internships coming to an end, take every opportunity you can to get advice on ways to make the transition from college life to professional life easier. Good luck! –Kali Mungovan